IPE team impacts lives of Osan Airmen

Base Info
Tech. Sgt. Michel Buatte, 6th Intelligence Squadron, receives his gas mask and gloves at the 51st Logistics Readiness Squadron Individual Protective Equipment facility during combat in-processing at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Aug. 7, 2012. The facility’s 19-person team issues IPE gear to Osan personnel as well as Airmen at geographically seperated units in the Republic of Korea. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Alexis Siekert)
Tech. Sgt. Michel Buatte, 6th Intelligence Squadron, receives his gas mask and gloves at the 51st Logistics Readiness Squadron Individual Protective Equipment facility during combat in-processing at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Aug. 7, 2012. The facility’s 19-person team issues IPE gear to Osan personnel as well as Airmen at geographically seperated units in the Republic of Korea. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Alexis Siekert)

IPE team impacts lives of Osan Airmen

by: Airman 1st Class Alexis Siekert | .
51st Fighter Wing PAO | .
published: August 14, 2012

8/9/2012 - OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- Ensuring everyone possesses the proper equipment for war is part of the 51st Logistics Readiness Squadron team's mission.

With more than 317,000 pieces of protective equipment, clothing and property valued at nearly $35 million, the 19-person 51st LRS Individual Protective Equipment team ensures Osan is prepared to fight and win tonight.

Exercise and real world equipment has to be serviceable for more than 5,000 people on base as well as the local geographically separated units, explained Master Sgt. Gavin Scott, 51st LRS IPE section chief.

"Our team issues all IPE protective gear so our personnel are prepared for exercises or a potential attack from the north," said Scott. "Osan is the tip of the spear here, so readiness is paramount. We have a very important mission."

According to the AFPAM 10-100 Airman's Manual, "IPE is the minimum personal clothing and equipment needed to protect wearers from most chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and high yield hazards."

By processing roughly 400 Airmen a month, the team has to operate as effectively as possible, he said.

"We are a major part of Osan's in and out processing," Scott said. "All items are inspected when issued and returned to ensure that no gear will expire during the Airman's time here."

Airmen receive one bag containing real-world equipment, while the other includes training overgarments, boots, vests, gas masks, helmets and gloves.

"Because everybody comes to us, we are the face of the base," said Senior Airman Jennifer Harvey, 51st LRS IPE journeyman. "We stay really busy, especially in the beginning of the month."

Customer service is a priority at IPE, according to Scott.

"We always make an impression, so we try to make it a positive experience," he said.

During exercises, and in the case of a real world attack, the LRS facility also contains a secondary armory source for the 51st Security Forces Squadron.

Osan has a forward fighting mission, and IPE follows suit.

"If we went to war tonight, we would be prepared," Harvey said.

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